Have you ever been betrayed by your own tongue?

Ever caught yourself making an agreement- saying YES – before you gave the proposal any thought?

If you sense a YES rallying to escape from your lips right now, read on for the sake of your reputation.

Saying YES is an addiction

Saying YES is a knee jerk reaction that can undermine everything you do personally or professionally. Agreeing to things you really don’t want to do, or could care less about, will reveal your intention and your lack of care will harm your reputation over time. Whenever agreements are made blindly, you end up destabilizing the foundation of the relationship you worked to build. Deciding to say YES or saying YES by default to appease other people is a bad habit – a social addiction– that interferes with personal wellness and professional advancement. Saying YES out of fear will not build or maintain a healthy reputation, so don’t do it.


Fear contaminates everything it touches. When you focus your attention on losing a professional relationship to a competitor, instead of focusing your attention on delivering excellence, you move away from being excellent and become far less than your potential. If you find yourself saying YES because you don’t want to rub someone the wrong way, or you don’t want to hurt someone’s feelings or mess up future possibilities, you have given in to fear.

Fear has a way of getting under your skin and quietly pressuring you in to decisions that may not be in your best interest personally or professionally. In business, it’s best to have a healthy respect for fear instead of allowing fear to paralyze you or dictate your next move. When it comes to establishing relationships, not speaking up for yourself and your interests will not deliver the results you hope for and will alter how others perceive you.

Your Word

When you give your word or make an agreement with someone -especially in business – be clear about your intentions and don’t allow fear to creep into the conversation. Your word is your reputation. If you don’t want to involve yourself with a project or if you would much rather say no, say no from the start. Make your interest clear, stand firm and don’t buckle to the appeals. Honor your abilities by working to build a reputation that can be trusted and not a reputation that will be questioned.

If you can’t be trusted to do what you say you will do then the relationship is over before it has started. It would say much more about your character if you declined a job or an opportunity up front, rather than drag your feet on it. Whenever you agree to deliver more than you know you can, you place your reputation in jeopardy.

The great thing is, you can still turn this around in your favor. Starting right now, you can begin to give more consideration to the way you create, manage and decline opportunities. The way you make and handle agreements shows how you value or devalue yourself. You can say NO, respect yourself and your boundaries and still move forward in business.

How do you say “yes” when you should say “no?” We’d love to hear from you!

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